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When the Emperor Was Divine

ISBN: 9780385721813 | 0385721811
Edition: Reprint
Format: Trade Paper
Publisher: Anchor
Pub. Date: 10/14/2003

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Julie Otsuka's commanding debut novel paints a portrait of the Japanese internment camps unlike any we have ever seen. With crystalline intensity and precision, Otsuka uses a single family to evoke the deracinationboth physical and emotionalof a generation of Japanese Americans. In five chapters, each flawlessly executed from a different point of viewthe mother receiving the order to evacuate; the daughter on the long train ride to the camp; the son in the desert encampment; the family's return to their home; and the bitter release of the father after more than four years in captivityshe has created a small tour de force, a novel of unrelenting economy and suppressed emotion. Spare, intimate, arrestingly understated, When the Emperor Was Divine is a haunting evocation of a family in wartime and an unmistakably resonant lesson for our times. It heralds the arrival of a singularly gifted new novelist. From the Hardcover edition.

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